The Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers each have enjoyed one fast start in the first two contests of their four-game series.
The American League West rivals will look to hit the ground running at the other’s expense on Wednesday night when they continue their set in Arlington, Texas.
The Rangers scored five runs in the first inning of Monday’s 8-3 romp before the Athletics answered the following night by scoring nine runs over the first three frames of their 13-6 victory. Oakland’s run total on Tuesday tied a season high, while its 15 hits were a season best.
“Nobody panicked (after Monday’s loss). We knew we needed to come in hot,” said Oakland’s Elvis Andrus, a former Ranger.
Matt Chapman extended his hitting streak to 10 games after belting a two-run homer to highlight Oakland’s four-run first inning on Tuesday.
“As soon as (Chapman) hit that ball, it felt like, ‘OK, now we’re back on track,'” said Andrus, who joined Mark Canha by recording a two-run single to highlight their respective three-hit performances.
As for Canha, he has driven in 18 of his 33 RBIs this month.
Texas right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (1-7, 5.59 ERA) will be tasked with keeping Oakland under wraps when he takes the mound on Wednesday.
Foltynewicz, however, has endured considerable struggles this season. The 29-year-old is seeking his first win since April 27.
He answered three straight losses with a no-decision on Friday after yielding four runs on six hits in five innings against the Minnesota Twins.
Foltynewicz acknowledged he has struggled with his confidence this season.
“Since last year, I don’t know what to expect when I go out there,” he said. “I’ve had had really good bullpen (sessions), and things like that. It’s when we get into the game, it just kinda clicks off on everything which upsets me because I know I’m right there. … It’s frustrating as hell when you can’t go out there and continuously do it.”
Foltynewicz owns a 1-0 record with a 1.08 ERA in two career appearances (one start) against the Athletics.
Oakland right-hander James Kaprielian (4-1, 2.84) will provide the opposition on Wednesday.
Kaprielian, 27, won his second straight start on Friday after allowing three runs on as many hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 5-3 victory against the New York Yankees.
He will make his 10th career appearance (eighth start) and first vs. Texas.
Reliever Sergio Romo will be ready if called upon Wednesday, but he’ll need to keep his emotions in check. After surrendering a solo homer to Eli White in the seventh inning on Tuesday, Romo appeared to take exception to the umpires inspecting him for foreign substances.
Romo tossed his glove and hat on the grass and removed his belt. He then pulled down his trousers.
“He’s a playful guy, and I don’t think he meant anything by it,” Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. “I will credit the umpires with the way they’ve handled it. They’ve been fantastic and try to make light of it, smile with guys and do it quickly, so that won’t happen again.”
–Field Level Media